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Old 05-27-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
MaddMax
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 9264
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Kansas City
Vehicle:
2012 WRX 5dr
Ice Silver

Default Free way to improve audio quality in the 11+ WRX

First off, I'm not overly concerned with huge bass and perfect sounding midrange and highs. I don't listen to the music at a deafening level either. I just want decent sound quality that won't distort when I've got the window rolled down at 50mph.

My previous car was a 03 G35 with a 7 speaker Bose system. It was fairly decent for factory. As expected, when I first heard my 12 WRX's OEM system it didn't have quite the depth. Since owning the car, I've pretty much just stuck with playing music via a flash drive. On occasion I would play music via BT through my HTC EVO's stock MP3 player. Sound quality wasn't really any better (not suprising).

Today while driving, I inadvertently used my free Amazon MP3 player. This is the player I use when traveling on a plane because it has a handful of preset equalizer modes which helps tailor the music to drown out jet engine noise. The HTC MP3 player doesn't have equalizer preset modes. To my surprise, when I ran the Amazon MP3 player, the sound quality had a lot more depth in all ranges. By adjusting the input volume (~60%) from the phone, selecting the "Classical" equalizer mode and adjusting the treble (3), mid (4), and bass (4) gains on the headunit, I'd have to say the sound quality is 20 to 30% better in all ranges than the regular OEM setup. I'm very happy with the setup and it's pretty much like my G35 now. FYI, some modes, too much input volume, or too much gain can result in overpowering the OEM speakers. Overall, it just takes some fine tuning.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
WRXinpa
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Member#: 306708
Join Date: Jan 2012
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Philly
Vehicle:
2012 WRX Hatch SWP
TP Stage 2

Default

I gave the OEM head unit every chance before finally replacing it with a decent aftermarket unit. The sound improved remarkably. Bottom line, the OEM HU is crap...as has been said by many on here But I'm glad that your happy with it.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
Spec R
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Hollywood, CA
Vehicle:
99 RS/X5/Volt

Default

Funny you mention your G35, as i have one in my car stable as well. the seven speaker bose system has great depth like you mentioned, and I've tried to get the audio in my other cars to match it. i havent been successful.

i do have a OEM subaru speakers from an 08 STi at all 4 corners in my RS, and its not terrible, but yes there is muuuuuuch to improve.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:07 AM   #4
gunz4me
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Member#: 305130
Join Date: Dec 2011
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: LFT
Vehicle:
2012 WRX
Satin White Pearl

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXinpa View Post
I gave the OEM head unit every chance before finally replacing it with a decent aftermarket unit. The sound improved remarkably. Bottom line, the OEM HU is crap...as has been said by many on here But I'm glad that your happy with it.
You sound like a friend of mine who owns an audio shop. I went in and asked him if I should buy a processor or replace the stock HU in my WRX. The first thing he told me was that if I purchased a processor, he gave me 30 days before I replaced the stock HU.

Anyway, I'm hoping to make time to measure the output on the stock deck to see if its frequency response is really as terrible as everyone says it is. Unfortunately, I won't get a chance to measure it until I end up replacing it.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:23 PM   #5
WRXinpa
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Member#: 306708
Join Date: Jan 2012
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Philly
Vehicle:
2012 WRX Hatch SWP
TP Stage 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunz4me

You sound like a friend of mine who owns an audio shop. I went in and asked him if I should buy a processor or replace the stock HU in my WRX. The first thing he told me was that if I purchased a processor, he gave me 30 days before I replaced the stock HU.

Anyway, I'm hoping to make time to measure the output on the stock deck to see if its frequency response is really as terrible as everyone says it is. Unfortunately, I won't get a chance to measure it until I end up replacing it.
I don't think its frequency response as much as it is poor overall SQ. The factory hu just doesn't have the power to reproduce decent sound.
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